Tools and Technologies Every Foodscaper Needs

tools Oct 11, 2021

Lindsay Wolff, Marketing Manager, Custom Foodscaping

Like growing any business, the initial investments of starting a foodscaping business can add up. In the world of gardening, permaculture and landscaping there are lots of shiny products that can distract one from the essentials of what it takes to simply get the job done. 


Our team has put together a tried-and-true list of materials and tools for professional foodscapers to help save those hard-earned dollars on stuff you’ll actually use.

While a lot of these items are super helpful for most installs, don’t let this list overwhelm you! In our recent interview with Ben Barkan (see our homepage), owner of Home Harvest, an edible landscape and construction business in Boston, he shared that he started his foodscaping business as an eighteen year old by posting flyers around town and riding to clients' houses on his bike. Today, 13 years later, his business owns several trucks and has over ten people on staff. It’s a long game!


Consider this “dream list” as a guide to help select the specific tools that can help create more efficient work days, stunning site designs and a fully booked calendar. 

Meet Clifford, the workhorse at Custom Foodscaping

Meet Clifford, the workhorse at Custom Foodscaping

Foodscaping tools

  • F250 (or a 3/4 ton truck) with a hitch should you need to rent a trailer

  • Good wheelbarrow

  • Hard rake

  • Leaf rake

  • Spade shovel

  • Pitchfork

  • Scoop shovel

  • Push Broom

  • Hoe

  • Mulch fork

  • Heavy-duty steel square shovel. We recommend Blue (Wolverine)

  • Long measuring tapes and other site measurement tools 

  • Pickaxe

  •  A tool to measure grade - a frame level, bunyip water level, line level 

  • Hand pruners

  • Long handled pruners

  • Utility knife

  • Steel Hori-Hori knife / soil knife



Power tools:

  • Cordless drill set + chargeable batteries

  • Circular saw (even if raised beds aren't the focus of your business) 

  • Angle grinder (comes in handy for cutting cattle panel)

Tech tools:

  • Reliable computer for design work, admin, marketing, company management

  • Design skill set + accompanying software. 

    • Google Slides is a user-friendly program for beginners for both creating designs as well as PDF presentations for clients.

    • SketchUp is a free tool for creating 3D models of your designs 

    • Sketchbook is used for creating multi-layered designs with the capability to import graphics, add text and image layers 

  • Apps

    • This is Digital Toolshed is an incredible resource from Heather Jo Flores -- all the permaculture design apps and tools you could ever need in one place! Wow!

    • Notebook is useful for collecting and organizing field data 

    • Otter Voice Notes is another tool for organizing information and transcribing conversations, videos, voice recordings 

    • Here’s a list of the best tape measure apps for iPhone and Android 

    • Use a reverse image search app for helping to ID plants, rocks, insects while in the field 

    • Check out this awesome resource for digital tools and video tutorials for permaculture designs

    • SunSeeker is used to see how many hours of sunlight hits a given point at various times of the year

    • Shadow Calculator on Google Maps is useful for anticipating shadows throughout the year

Every staff needs a company canine. Ours at Custom Foodscaping is Lizzie!

Every staff needs a company canine. Ours at Custom Foodscaping is Lizzie!


Marketing tools 

  • Instagram and Facebook accounts for free marketing and brand building

  • Marketing signs to let the people know!

  • Magnetic car sign for your truck, company car


Other Considerations

  • Shop with a garage and place to build beds, store tools

  • Work pants with reinforced knees and side pockets

  • Holster to carry hand tools 

  • A comfy bed after a hard day’s work!